Seeds of three columbine species, Aquilegia caerulea James, Aquilegia canadensis L., and Aquilegia hinckleyana Munz., were studied to determine if seed priming can be used to enhance or completely bypass stratification. The effect of priming varied among species. Germination percentage of nonstratified, primed seed of A. caerulea was as high as nonprimed stratified seed at the termination of the study. Nonstratified primed seeds of A. canadensis did not perform as well as stratified seed, but priming did enhance the germination percentage of stratified seed. Priming had no effect on seed germination–of A. hinckleyana.